Data for COVID-19 Response & Recovery

Communities across the United States are currently facing three concurrent crises: a health crisis caused by COVID-19, an economic crisis caused by rising unemployment, and a political crisis caused by racial unrest. Existing inequities laid the foundation for these crises, and we need to act now to avoid worsening gaps in opportunities for health and well-being, especially for people with low incomes and people of color.  

To respond to these crises, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute awarded $680,000 in grants to 17 organizations across the US through the Using Data to Inform Local Decisions on COVID-19 Response & Recovery grant program. The selected grantees and their partners will provide local stakeholders with data and information to help them respond to the COVID-19 pandemic more equitably and effectively. 

The grantees are meaningfully engaging with community audiences about what data and analysis are needed, create data in accessible formats, analyze and interpret data, and translate findings for local audiences. They are tackling a wide variety of topics, including child care, transit, food access, and social services.  

You can learn more about the grantees and their projects below. We hope you’ll find inspiration in their ideas and use them to make a difference in your communities.  

Texas Tenants' Union

Dallas, TX
United States

Affordable Housing

Addressing housing policy, regulation, implementation, and practice is a critical step to promoting health equity, especially during a pandemic requiring people to abide by stay-at-home orders.

Urban Harvest

Houston, TX
United States

Food Security

Launching a mobile market to provide food to the most food-insecure residents and to gather data on food insecurity, food choices, shopping behaviors, and how participants access services.

Elevated Chicago Logo: Connecting People, Building Equity
Elevated Chicago

Chicago, IL
United States

Transportation

Enhancing walkability initiatives to make communities more walkable based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement; promoting mobility, cohesion, access to jobs and services, and transit ridership in Chicago's equitable transit-oriented development policy.

Louisiana Public Health Institute

Jefferson Parish, LA
United States

Small Business and Economic Development

Conducting a mixed-methods study to assess impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers and employers in Jefferson Parish Council District 3.

Air Alliance Houston

Houston, TX
United States

Transportation

Gathering information from people who rely on public transit to understand how COVID-19 has impacted plans to use alternative modes of transportation and to inform policy proposals to improve public transit options.

Catalyst Miami logo
Catalyst Miami, Inc.

Miami, FL
United States

Small Business and Economic Development

Collecting data on small businesses owned by people of color in North Miami to help them adjust their business models and to aid the city in directing relief funds. 

Community Information Now 

San Antonio, TX
United States

Resident Needs

Integrating local datasets to inform resource allocation in Corpus Christi and Victoria, two majority-Hispanic cities with COVID-19 case rates roughly double that of Texas.

Cook County Family Connection

Sparks, GA
United States

Civic Engagement, Policy & Community Interventions

Capturing qualitative data to document the effects of COVID-19 on people in rural Cook County, Georgia, to enhance services provided to residents.

Data You Can Use 

Milwaukee, WI
United States

Resident Needs

Using residents' reactions to neighborhood-level data on underlying health conditions associated with COVID-19 to inform response and recovery.

Innovate Memphis
Innovate Memphis

Memphis, TN
United States

Affordable Housing

Pairing qualitative data gathered from communities with quantitative data to understand how COVID-19 has affected neighborhood housing stability and to identify potential policies and near-term interventions.

Circulate San Diego logo
Circulate San Diego

San Diego, CA
United States

Communications

Guiding communication strategies on COVID-19 response and recovery and future initiatives by learning how residents prefer to receive information.

CTData Collaborative

Hartford, CT
United States

Structural Inequities and Community Interventions

Facilitating participatory analysis with community-based organizations of how different groups—such as Southeast Asians, people with developmental disabilities, and the LGBTQ community—are experiencing the pandemic to inform response and recovery efforts.

LISC Philadelphia
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Affordable Housing

Mapping the needs of residents, owners, and buildings in Philadelphia, PA to identify properties most at risk of losing affordable housing status because of COVID-19 in an effort to preserve affordable housing, particularly in communities of color.

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission logo
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Columbus, OH
United States

Resident Needs

Writing briefs to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on critical issues across seven domains—from economic development to broadband access to housing—with a focus on contextualizing these domains pre-COVID, assessing long-term challenges, and fostering community dialogue.

Para los Ninos logo
Para Los Niños

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Neighborhood-Level Issue Intersections, Building a Shared-Fate Culture, Policy/Community Interventions

Responding to gaps in Los Angeles’s COVID-19 response and recovery services with a network of service providers to improve family well-being.

Starting Point

Cleveland, OH
United States

Child Care

Analyzing data on child care operations in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, to better understand the effect of COVID-19 on child care programs during the shutdown and reopening as parents try to return to work.